Our friends are getting older too…our furry friends

Dr. Melissa Pearson

Dr. Melissa Pearson

Joyce Brein

On Saturday, February 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the Arts and Technology Building, the Happy Tails Club filled the room to capacity to hear Dr. Melissa Pearson. She is the veterinarian at Argyle Veterinary Hospital and talked about major issues with senior dogs. Among her topics were vision and hearing loss as well as treatment and management options for arthritis and cognitive dysfunction, all common in older dogs. In 2002 Dr. Pearson started Peaceful Pathways for Pets to offer in-home euthanasia services for the Dallas and the North Texas areas.

Highlights of her presentation included:

A. Dogs

As our pets age the hormone in their brain decreases, which in time can cause senile behavior in dogs over 10 years.

Discussed sleep patterns, loss of alertness, anxiety, changes in mood and house training behavior changes.

B. Cats

Discussed increased vocalization, changes in litter box habits, sleep patterns, isolation, loss of alertness and mood changes.

C. Suggestions for treatment

Create a stable environment and routine

Use a pet sitter whenever possible rather than a kennel

Prescription and organic-holistic medications and supplements as approved by your vet

D. Peaceful Pathways

Monitor your pet’s days as they get older by keeping a journal and rating their day (i.e. mobility, pain, eating/drinking, panting, pacing, vocalization)

Discussed euthanasia which means “good death”

Dr. Peterson will come to your home so that you can be with your pet during their last hours.